Living in Berlin

Just arrived in Berlin?

Moving to Berlin

Berlin is the top city in Europe for students and especially for anyone involved with music. It combines a comparably low cost of living with huge cultural diversity and a fantastically vibrant nightlife.

No surprise then that the city attracts thousands of students, young artists and musicians from around the world and provides them with a perfect venue for their work. This means that competition to find an apartment can be high and finding the perfect place can take a bit of time & effort, but it also means there’s lots of exciting people to meet and live with.

Courses at dBs Berlin always start at the end of September, so it’s a good idea to come here early. We recommend arriving around the middle July or the beginning of August. This will give you enough time to explore the city and find out which area you want to live in. In the meantime you can use short term stay options like hostels or sites like 9flats and Wimdu (see offers below).

Low Budget Living in Berlin

You will have heard a lot about how cheap it is to live in Berlin. The bad news is that it’s not as cheap as it used to be. The good news is that it’s still much cheaper than comparable cities across Europe and beyond. As a good starting point please go to the following website for information on everything including cheap flats.


We’ve teamed up with 9flats to provide a discount to dBs Berlin Students, either potential or current! Contact us for more info:

9flats: They are providing a discount of €20 on any booking over €200.

Learning German: speakeasy

While you’re in Berlin, you’ll want to learn some German! It definitely makes life easier and it’s also a fun language to learn when you’re in the right language school. That’s why we teamed up with speakeasy, which is right around the corner from dBs Berlin. (All dBs Berlin students get €10 off their language course too!)

They offer both intensive and evening courses, and you can also book as one-to-one sessions with their tutors. Check out their course plan online and get your German skills up to speed.


There are lots of good and cheap hostels in Berlin. They can be a great opportunity to meet new people in a new city and give you a base to explore Berlin before finding a more permanent accommodation solution, with a lot located in Friedrichshain around our school:

Sunflower Hostel
All In Hostel / Hotel
A&O Berlin Friedrichshain
Plus Berlin

Short term apartments:

Short term sublets

Looking for
an apartment

The most common practice for young people and students is to live in shared apartments (WG). The most popular source for finding a room is the website WG gesucht. Other options are or the App Dreamflat, which claims it can help you find the perfect roommate.

You can also try and find a new WG with people you meet here or rent an apartment for yourself, which is a bit more complicated but not impossible to do. Good websites to look at are:

Have a Read

Get to know Berlin
How to find a flat in Berlin

Search the listings


Be aware of scams!

There are a lot of people looking for flats in Berlin, and people will take advantage of this. If an apartment looks too good to be true, pay attention, it could be a scam! If you get an email with an elaborate story about how the owner is currently not in the country and needs you to transfer money to them in order to secure the apartment - it’s definitely a scam. Never send any money to someone before you’ve seen the apartment!

Required Documents

If you want to rent an apartment on your own or set up a new flatshare, be prepared to go to a lot of flat viewings. Often there are many people who all want to applying, so having your documents ready and leaving a good first impression with the estate agent will increase your chances! You’ll need your last three payslips (or bank statements showing that you have sufficient funds) and a copy of your passport. You usually need to fill out a questionnaire that’s given to you by the landlord or agent, so try to request this before the viewing so you’re properly prepared.

To apply for a room in an established flatshare (WG), respond to the ad telling the current flatmates about yourself and what you’re like as a flatmate, i.e. why you’ll be great to live with! It’s good to include your expectations about WG-life (cleanliness, noise etc), your hobbies and what you’re doing in Berlin. Please be aware that sometimes it’s completely normal to send a lot of messages before finding the right fit.

If the WG likes your description they will invite you to a “WG-Casting”, where you can meet and find out whether you get along. Sometimes there are several applicants there at the same time, sometimes they will have appointments one after the other. You’re much more likely to be successful if you’re in Berlin already, as most people prefer to choose someone they’ve met in person.

When moving into a sublet, please make sure you draw up a contract with the landlord (or main leaseholder) before moving in. This should cover you in case of any dispute over rent, length of tenancy and deposit.

Registering yourself in Berlin

This is the most important thing you can do when you settle in Berlin (usually within 14 days). Without this piece of paper, called your Anmeldung, you will not be able to open a bank account or receive a tax number (if you’re choosing to work whilst studying).

You can go to any Bürgeramt in Berlin to get your Anmeldung. However, there are lots of Bürgerämter that require you to book an appointment in advance (which can take up to 4-8 weeks). The following link will allow you to search for an appointment to register in any Bürgeramt across Berlin: You can click on one of the dates that are marked blue to see which Bürgerämter still have vacant appointments.

Registering at the Bürgeramt is a relatively simple process which only takes a couple of minutes. You will need to bring your passport and a sheet of paper of your landlord confirming that you’ll move into the apartment.